Neglected doing this before

 
Zardoz Speakz
 
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Zardoz Speakz
Total Posts:  34
Joined  22-07-2017
 
 
 
25 August 2017 11:00
 

Hi,

I just started listening to Sam Harris podcasts last year, and it was his chats with Paul Bloom that majorly got me interested—I found his ideas on empathy very engaging. I was familiar with Harris before that as I would see various youtube stuff.  Before getting to know Mr. Harris, I was listening to Christopher Hitchens (god, figuratively speaking, I wish he were around), Richard Dawkins,  Douglas Murray, who has emulated Hitchens to quite an extent, and Lawrence Krauss.  I’ve become a “fan” of Very Bad Wizards too.  Listening to these people has never changed my mind on anything, in imperceptible ways I expect that it has, but it has helped to reinforce and clarify what I think about things (echo chamber type thing).

Since I’ve plugged the podcasts and this forum at another site, and some people may try to look me up here, I go by the name Logan. Never mind that they’ll probably miss this intro thread. As an admin there I don’t feel very comfortable expressing my views openly as we are expected to create a tolerant and welcoming environment for all, and diplomacy is expected.  I was labelled an Islamosphobe and a bigot, and came up against the claims that Islam is a religion of peace when I brought up my concerns.  Yes it could be a religion of peace, but only when everyone fully submitted their will to a particular interpretation of Allah’s will.  And that will never happen, and I never would want it to if it could. I am a bigot to some extent, as I believe we all are, and I do have a fear of Islam and religion generally, but not a particularly irrational fear I would say.  The irrationality of religion alone scares me.

After Charlie Hebdo and a close friend’s conversion, I really started to explore Islam.  I read the Quran and Hadith and was not enamored.  I also find the Old Testament repugnant as well as parts of the New Testament.  I also too a big interest in Scientology, not that I ever wanted to become a Scientologist.  I married a born again Christian despite our differences, and her faith has mellowed and we actually get along fine.  She was never really the evangelical type and share the same ethics.  I got her involved in the Anglican Church at first, as I grew up with that tradition even though neither of my parents were really religious or believers, and it’s much more open-minded and tolerant than her Pentecostal Church.  At the Anglican church they didn’t seem to care if I was an atheist or not, a lot of the congregation are but are there more to socialize and drink whisky at parties together. Sorry to name-drop, but I’ve met Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, and Oprah Winfrey at that church, but I don’t go there any longer as I moved.  Nowadays I rarely go to church, but still enjoy it on very rare occasions (was never big on church, actually), much as I like visiting Buddhist temples (although I am not religious, aspects of Buddhism has been of value to me)..  The rector at my Anglican Church followed Buddhism. 

I am a hard determinist, and I do practice mindfulness, but not religiously, so to speak.  It has helped me to deal with anxiety—.that, along with exercise hikes in nature and eating healthy.

Recently my mother-in-law died, and she had joined a Pentecostal church.  What a horrible and embarrassing funeral service that was (we arranged it).. The pastor tried to proselytize all of the attendees, told us that we would all go to hell if we didn’t accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and even spoke about the rotting corpse of Lazarus before he was raised from the dead.  I was mortified.  My children who consider themselves to be atheist had friends over and my mother-in-law was staying with us and she told their friends that they should go to church and read the Bible.  Those children never entered our house again.

Talking religion commonly has been uncomfortable for me.  Many of the people I know, especially my wife’s old friends, and her family, are religious and seem to expect that I believe the same.  I don’t tell them I’m an atheist, or engage them in religious discussion, but just keep quiet.  How I dreaded saying that anything bad had happened as they would insist on praying for me.  I mean it’s nice of them in a way, but not wanted.  I would like to be more open about my lack of faith and live somewhere where I don’t see religion around me all the time (be it crosses, turbans or niqabs, we have a fast growing Moslem and Sikh community in the area).  Am I bigot because I would rather not see so much of it?  Speaking of Islamophobia, I do feel uncomfortable when I see mean dressed as Imams with their wives in Burqas in tow.  I never speak to them, and they never speak to me, of course the women wouldn’t.

My son is in Boy Scouts, and I became a leader, and there was a religious, or at least spiritual expectation in that too.  They thought it good to become more involved with your faith and for the leaders to have faith.  I stopped.

I’m even uncomfortable telling Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons what I think when they knock on my door, and I am so sick of having them visit me.

Anyway It’s great to see a community where I think I’d be more comfortable being true to myself, to my beliefs, and lack thereof.  Sorry that this is such a long and sloppy intro.  I doubt I’ll post here much since I don’t enjoy debate much these days, but I do enjoy friendly discussion.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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Joined  15-02-2008
 
 
 
25 August 2017 17:01
 

Welcome!

 
 
Zardoz Speakz
 
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Zardoz Speakz
Total Posts:  34
Joined  22-07-2017
 
 
 
26 August 2017 14:15
 

Thanks.  I’m glad we had our discussion on hard vs. flaccid atheism, that’s primed me better for this forum.  At the prog music forum where I also post, don’t judge me, we just don’t have that many spirited discussions/ debates anymore, and I think this site might help in toughening up the old noodle.  Be great to be back into rational arguments about the kind of stuff I’m interested in. Much like my diapers, my mind has become soggier with the years.  It’s good to have your notions challenged.  I do feel like brushing up on logical fallacies since I haven’t formally studied logic and reasoning for so many years.

By the way, it’s such a mixed bag of people you find making posts here, it’s like people are watching different movies or something.

[ Edited: 26 August 2017 14:17 by Zardoz Speakz]
 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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Joined  21-10-2016
 
 
 
26 August 2017 15:04
 

Welcome, Greg M

Yes, there is a “mixed bag” of people here, which can make things quite interesting.

Jan

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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26 August 2017 15:30
 

It’s like a neighborhood bar and there have only been about 30 regulars here at any one time. We usually sit around kicking the shit out of each other until someone new comes along and then we kick the shit out of them until they leave or they become a regular, then we go back to kicking the shit each other again. The podcast crowd moved in recently but I lost interest in anything Harris had to say long ago so I have never to went to any of their parties.

 
 
jdrnd
 
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jdrnd
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Joined  25-08-2009
 
 
 
27 August 2017 14:50
 
GAD - 26 August 2017 03:30 PM

The podcast crowd moved in recently but I lost interest in anything Harris had to say long ago so I have never to went to any of their parties.

Me too.

 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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Joined  05-04-2006
 
 
 
28 August 2017 07:01
 
jdrnd - 27 August 2017 02:50 PM
GAD - 26 August 2017 03:30 PM

The podcast crowd moved in recently but I lost interest in anything Harris had to say long ago so I have never to went to any of their parties.

Me too.

Me three. Not only have I lost interest in what Sam has to say, I also find his choice of who to interview/debate kinda boring. The world is full of people who say “provocative” things on YouTube, etc. The older I get, the less interested I am in seeking out contrariness for it’s own sake.

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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28 August 2017 07:49
 
bigredfutbol - 28 August 2017 07:01 AM
jdrnd - 27 August 2017 02:50 PM
GAD - 26 August 2017 03:30 PM

The podcast crowd moved in recently but I lost interest in anything Harris had to say long ago so I have never to went to any of their parties.

Me too.

Me three. Not only have I lost interest in what Sam has to say, I also find his choice of who to interview/debate kinda boring. The world is full of people who say “provocative” things on YouTube, etc. The older I get, the less interested I am in seeking out contrariness for it’s own sake.

Shock-podcasting?  Is that what Harris is up to these days?

 
 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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28 August 2017 08:19
 
Jefe - 28 August 2017 07:49 AM
bigredfutbol - 28 August 2017 07:01 AM
jdrnd - 27 August 2017 02:50 PM
GAD - 26 August 2017 03:30 PM

The podcast crowd moved in recently but I lost interest in anything Harris had to say long ago so I have never to went to any of their parties.

Me too.

Me three. Not only have I lost interest in what Sam has to say, I also find his choice of who to interview/debate kinda boring. The world is full of people who say “provocative” things on YouTube, etc. The older I get, the less interested I am in seeking out contrariness for it’s own sake.

Shock-podcasting?  Is that what Harris is up to these days?

I doubt it—I’m mostly expressing my own reactions. Probably not fair to Harris, to be honest. It’s just a personal preference thing for me.

 
 
Zardoz Speakz
 
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Zardoz Speakz
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Joined  22-07-2017
 
 
 
28 August 2017 18:25
 

Harris irritates me at times, especially when he goes on and on about people misrepresenting his views, but I generally like listening to his podcast for his guests.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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29 August 2017 20:32
 

I feel like I’m modding two realms. One job tries to preserve the old stomping grounds and the other is often just ground stomping like a busy twit feed. As a do-thing, I am still enjoying it but it takes a much bigger chunk of my time and attention.

I try to keep up with the podcasts for the sake of their threads. I can listen while on the job because there is no one else to bother here.  I use time compression to make them pass more quickly. Sometimes I speed the whole thing up to a chipmonking 140%. Everyone sounds adorable that way.

Some are very interesting and engaging and some are like eavesdropping on a distant planet. I would not call it shock-podding at all in intention but often the results are startling. Sometimes the guest turns out to be strange in some previously unseen way or The Boss’s expectations of a guest don’t pan out and he seems the last to notice. I would prefer if he skipped the squabbles. He needs a good coach.

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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05 September 2017 05:08
 

What’s up, dude.

 
 
Zardoz Speakz
 
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Zardoz Speakz
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Joined  22-07-2017
 
 
 
30 September 2017 06:07
 

Y’ know, same old, same old.  How are you?

Incidentally, I prefer El Duderino, but the Dude abides.

Would have responded sooner, by the way, but I wasn’t sure if you were asking me or Nhoj.  Being a bit old school, I tend to take such informality as generally addressed to acquaintances.  “How do you do?” remains the greeting I’m most familiar with which means I must be getting old.

[ Edited: 30 September 2017 06:12 by Zardoz Speakz]